Sam Allardyce savaged as Everton fans voice fury after miserable campaign
A wide-ranging survey sent by Everton to supporters caused quite the frenzy since its release on Tuesday. Topics ranged from media portrayal of Everton to reasons for supporting the club, touching on the role played by international supporters.
These surveys are commonplace as Everton often seek the views of fans but this one has attracted attention due to questions relating to the direction of the club and matters on the pitch.
Each question needed a rating from 0 to 10, with 0 signalling complete disagreement and 10 signalling complete agreement.
Those four questions appear below ...
"I have a high level of trust in the current Everton players e.g. in being loyal and performing at their best for the club."
Manager Sam Allardyce is the figurehead for supporter unrest but the role of the players in this disappointing season is also impossible ignore. There have been three managers in the Everton dugout this season and this group of players has underperformed for each of them.
Tactical misfires from managers and poor recruitment in the transfer market account for a large share of the blame but Everton conceding three or more goals in 10 different matches in all competitions cannot be exclusively down to questionable tactics. Feeble capitulations against the top teams has been an all too familiar sight this season. Even a Southampton side currently staring relegation in the face managed to score four past Everton in November.
This tough season needed players to show their worth, their willingness to dig in and scrap but only a handful could rightly make a case for doing so. Too many lack the stomach for such a fight and leadership on the pitch is in desperately short supply, aside from Seamus Coleman, who is the only player in the current setup worthy of the captaincy. Ask most supporters for a list of players worth retaining from within the squad and the list of departures would likely outweigh those remaining.
"I have a high level of trust in the current senior leadership team at Everton e.g. in making the right decisions for the Club's future."
Every aspect of the club should be under review once the season ends as a campaign that promised much has descended into farce at times. Majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri has invested heavily but seen those responsible for spending these resources waste them in almost comical fashion. Ambitions soared during the summer, but the reality has not matched up to the intended vision as any preseason summer expired months ago.
There is little doubt Everton panicked when appointing Allardyce, asking the so-called survival specialist to save them from a relegation battle they were never in. Another area reflecting less than favourably on the club hierarchy is the decision to appoint Steve Walsh as director of football. His role needs genuine scrutiny at the end of a season that has seen upwards of £180 million mostly wasted on new signings.
Moshiri has the financial resources to take Everton forward but the senior leadership team must make better decisions in relation to the playing side of things. That must start with the dismissal of Allardyce and the appointment of a capable manager with a long-term vision for the club.
"I have a high level of trust in other Everton fans e.g. in being loyal and committed to the club."
This is the one area in which the level of trust needs no questioning. Season ticket sales hit record numbers last term and look set to surpass those figures for the 2018-19 campaign. Despite watching the most miserable and lifeless football served up inside Goodison Park in recent memory, the Everton supporters continue to turn up each week and sell out both home and away.
At a time when low attendances and complete disillusionment would be understandable, Everton supporters keep coming back for more. This is one area in which loyalty and commitment are without question as the demand for tickets has never been higher, even though the quality of football has rarely been lower.
The only questionable aspect is a Goodison atmosphere that barely registers as apathy has overwhelmed the terraces in recent seasons. Yet the solution has always been simple: play a brand of football that the supporters can get behind and they will back the manager and the players to the hilt. Goodison can do surly with the best of them but these supporters readily show their appreciation when called for. The current atmosphere says more about the team and the style of play than the fans watching on from the stands.
"I have a high level of trust in the current manager and coaching staff of Everton e.g. in making the right decisions to get the best out of the team."
Allardyce continues to brazenly proclaim that it is only a minority of supporters unhappy with his style of play and his general lack of awareness of the situation around him. But the expectation is that this survey will leave the club in little doubt as to the true extent of supporter dissatisfaction.
Allardyce has spent years defending his agricultural style of play, putting it down to necessity, claiming he was only the right opportunity away from showing his true credentials. This was the big chance he craved, and he has blown it, not altering his tired and prehistoric tactics in any sense.
Allardyce promised wins and clean sheets but Everton have won just four of the last 17 matches and kept only two clean sheets in the past 15 games. Attacking output stands at a miserable 22 goals scored and 60 shots on target in 20 league games.
On every level Allardyce has failed to grasp the scale of the job and the size of the club. Players are to blame for defeats while mockery greets any supporter dissent as the toxic wheels of self-preservation never stop turning for Allardyce. Ambition does not exist and there is no intent to win matches. His appointment has become an unmitigated disaster, one Everton did not need in the first place.
Luke is ESPN FC's Everton blogger. Follow Luke on Twitter @lukeofarrell.